TenU, the international collaboration of ten technology transfer offices (TTOs) of the world’s leading universities, today announces the appointment of Tim Haines, Executive Partner and Managing Director at Abingworth LLP, a leading global life sciences venture investment firm, as its new Chair.

Tim brings with him a wealth of experience in investing in nascent technologies and holds a broad network, which makes him exceptionally placed to consolidate TenU’s cross-sector relationships and further nurture the innovation ecosystem. Prior to his role at Abingworth LLP, Tim led University of Cambridge spin-out Astex Therapeutics to become one of the UK’s leading biotech companies.

Tim joins TenU at a pivotal time for the university innovation landscape, when TenU’s leadership of cross-sector initiatives, and notably collaboration with the investment community, has begun to bear fruit. The launch of the USIT (University Spinout Investment Terms) Guide in April last year was the first major output of TenU’s collaborative efforts and an incredibly important achievement for the sector, as signified by endorsement in the government’s independent review of university spin-out companies.

His appointment comes ahead of the Spring Budget, where TenU hopes to see the Government build on its commitments to support the financing of early-stage UK businesses. While the Chancellor’s £20 million allocation to university spinouts announced last year was welcomed by the technology transfer sector, TenU encourages the government to consider further measures to increase investment in the UK’s nascent spinouts striving to achieve global impact.

Tim becomes Chair effective immediately, taking over from Professor Andy Neely, Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor of Enterprise and Business Relations at the University of Cambridge, who has held the position since 2022.

Commenting on his appointment, Incoming Chair, Tim Haines, said: “I have been hugely impressed with the work that TenU has done so far. Through working on the USIT Guide last year, I saw first-hand the value of strong collaboration between leading institutions, venture capitalists and legal specialists, and the transformative potential of further work in this area.

“With an established framework now in place for spinout formation, the next step is to unlock capital to enable these companies to achieve scale and global impact. I hope to see the Spring Budget 2024 announce further measures to channel investment into the incredible innovation emerging from our universities. I am delighted to take up the role of Chair and continue the good work that Professor Neely and the TenU team have begun.”

Outgoing Chair, Professor Andy Neely, said: “It has been a privilege to witness the evolution of TenU from its origination as a programme grant to a key stakeholder in the international effort to enhance the process of research commercialisation.

“I look forward to seeing Tim and the excellent team at TenU build on our learnings and continue efforts to maximise the societal impact of university research.”

TenU President, Simon Hepworth, said: “I would like to thank Professor Andy Neely for his dedication and commitment to TenU over the 2 years he has served as Chair.  His steadfast leadership has enabled TenU to leave a lasting mark on the sector already.

“I am delighted to welcome Tim Haines as Professor Neely’s successor. We look forward to benefitting from Tim’s insight as we develop and launch the USIT for Software Guide in the coming months.”

Tim Haines will join TenU’s existing Board members:

  • Luke Georghiou, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester
  • Alison Campbell, CEO, Government Office for Tech Transfer (GOTT)
  • Claire Driscoll, Director, Office of Technology & Industry Alliances, University of California Santa Barbara
  • Laura McDonald, Chief Executive, ASTP